Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tonight's episode of The Biggest Loser was a nice change from all of the yelling and cursing of last week. This episode was a big success story of teamwork and perseverance.
While the remaining contestants were still in the elimination room after Alexandra had gone home, Allison Sweeney told them that they had the chance to keep everyone above the yellow line this week. No one would be eliminated if all 15 players could lose a combined total of more than 150 pounds. If they didn't reach 150 pounds, then 2 people would be sent home.
Historically, week 2 is notorious for low weight losses in the house (some of the players called it the "curse of week 2"), so the challenge was a tall order.
Back in the living room, Coach Mo gave everyone a pep talk. He told them they had to do three things: 1) stay together, 2) lean on Danny because he was the only one with week 2 experience and 3) let Coach Mo get in their heads to motivate them.
When the teams headed to the gym, Jillian played good cop to Bob's bad cop. Later, she took the brown team to the kitchen to help them with meal planning. Who saw the Ziploc product placement coming? I totally did!
Julio was made out to be this season's slacker and Shay was visibly frustrated with him and his lack of dedication in the gym.
Tracey returned and said her incident was a big deal and really serious, but didn't say what had happened.
Just when the goal of losing 150 pounds seemed impossible, the contestants met with Chef Curtis Stone who threw tons of nutrition information at them, including a suggestion to replace 50% of your pasta with veggies and the fact that there are 1010 calories in a fast food chicken caesar salad! Holy crap and it doesn't even taste as good as a hamburger!
The funniest line of the night was when Sean said, "I am the national spokesmodel for soda." I just know that PR people for Coke and Pepsi everywhere were ducking for cover.
After the chef's lesson was done, Allison came in and gave them a nutrition quiz. By correctly answering at least 5 of 8 questions based on Curtis Stone's information, they earned a 15 pound bonus at the weigh in -- 10% of their goal -- meaning they only had to lose 135 pounds combined to keep everyone at the ranch this week.
Once the teams successfully managed the first quiz, it was time to move on to a group challenge. They had to cross floating balance beams in the water and gather on rafts attached to the end of the beams. If one person fell in the water, the game was over. If everyone reached the 1st raft, the teams would win a 5 pound advantage at the weigh in. Reaching the 2nd raft would earn them another 5 pound advantage. Making it to the 3rd raft meant phone calls from home. Finally, if the whole team made it to 4th raft with no one falling in, they could deduct 10 more lbs from the total they needed to lose to keep everyone on the ranch.
I had two thoughts while watching this challenge. First, I didn't really realize or think about how difficult balance is when you are extremely overweight. Second, could't they have gotten some bigger life jackets for these people?
They pretty quickly achieved the first 5 pound advantage, but I bet they just wanted to yell at Allison Sweeney to just shut up! Here they were trying to balance and get across these beams and she was yammering on, giving a play by play of their every move.
In the end, they did it! They made it across all four balance beams and earned 20 pounds worth of weight advantage, plus phone calls home. It was really awesome to watch them work together as a team. No sniping and bickering. Just quiet enouragement. If I was the crying sort, that would have brought tears to my eyes.
They all got to make their calls home and each person was interviewed about how much that meant to them. I know I must be sick because when they were all telling about their calls home and they were all crying, I kept looking at the pies and lollipops and and other yummy stuff on the wall behind them, thinking how good it all looked!
The next day at lunch, theywere all high fiving about only needing to lose 115 pounds as a group (since they'd secured 35 pounds of advantage) and Bob and Jillian came in and just sucked the wind right out of their sails, saying that was still pretty darn hard in week 2. They sent them all to the gym for the last chance workout.
Let me just say that if I had to do one of those last chance workouts, I'd end up in a puddle of quivering blubber on the floor and that's all I have to say about that.
In the gym, Bob got inside Shay's head asking her if she believed she had the right to be happy. While all of the inner turmoil/psychobabbly stuff seems a little hard to watch, a little fabricated even, I'm glad they spent time showing some of that because I think most people who are overweight are that way at least in part for some emotional reason.
The people who get fat because they eat too much pizza and drink to much beer just because they like it are the people who have an easier time getting rid of the extra weight. People with emotional baggage are fighting not just their physical selves, but the demons in their heads.
Finally, it was time for the weigh in -- They needed to lose 115 pounds to keep all 15 of them on the ranch for another week.
Here's how it went down on the scale:
Pink - Rebecca (-6) and Amanda (-4)
Purple - Tracey (-10) and Coach Mo (-9)
Red - Sean (-11) and Antoine (-8)
Green - Allen (-10) and Abby (-11)
Brown - Danny (-12) and Liz (-10)
Blue - Rudy (-14) and Dina (-8)
Black - Julio (-19)
Orange - Danny (-7) and Shay (-16)
What week two curse? As a group, they lost 155 pounds this week, so they didn't even need those advantages!
I thought this was a great show. What did you think?